PRSA President’s Cup Regatta Results

We had a good turnout for the 2018 PRSA President’s Cup Regatta, fantastic racing weather all weekend, and a packed spectator boat on Sunday.  What a great regatta!  Congratulations to Aaron, Andrew, Piercarlo, and Tom for taking the win on Beedobeat.  John Van Voorhis, Rachel, David gave them a run for their money though!  Many thanks to PRO Jim Graham (upper course) and PRO Will Phillppe (lower course) and their RC crews for all of the work that they did to get us lots of racing.  Results are posted here.  Stay tuned for links to photos and more!

28 boats sailed the combined 34th Annual Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup and 2018 Dixie District Championship Regatta!

Congratulations to Craig Cobbum and his crew for winning, as well as all competitors who participated in the combined 34th Annual Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup & 2018 Dixie Districts! Bruce Bingman and his RC crew were able to get off two races – very noteworthy given the very light and shifty conditions.  The turnout from both visiting boats and Fleet 50 sailors was fantastic!

In addition, congratulations to Trevor Pryor and his crew for winning the Dixie District Purnell Cup, and Nabeel Alsalam and his crew Tom Hutton and Jess Harrington for winning the Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup Trophy.

2018 Dixie 

PRSA Rookie Regatta Results

We had a good turnout for the PRSA Rookie Regatta this past Sunday, with 6 I-20s, 6 Lightnings, 3 Albacores, and 2 Buccaneers coming out for the fun.  Several boats had a true rookie on board, and those that didn’t had crews driving and drivers crewing.  Congrats to David Keto (15117) and Tom Hutton (15142) on tying for first place in the Lightning fleet.  Joe and Marco on 12416 also had a great showing, finishing 2nd overall.

Results are posted below.  I’ve also included a few of my observations from the course on Lightning #14592 (from the middle position while Piercarlo drove his first races in a long while!).  You should feel free to add your observations in the comments section!

The weather looked much more promising than the forecast as we arrived at the marina on Sunday.   We sailed up to the course in a nice northerly breeze…only to see it become soft and spotty as the first starts got going.  PRO Allen Griffen and his RC crew did a great job in adjusting the course but also getting us as many races as possible in a very shifty and variable N/NE/NW wind.  With short T1 courses the start was important, and we found that getting a good start and staying in the pressure (generally up the left side of the course along the airport, though this was not the case in the first race) was paramount.  Making sure to keep the boat moving forward fast, even when headed, was also important in all of the shifts and swirls.  Over the 3 races we saw conditions ranging from nearly no wind to full on hiking conditions (for a few moments at least).  Overall, though, the racing was fun and clean, and it was great to see new faces on boats and familiar people in new positions.  The sun even came out enough for us to enjoy a nice post-race BBQ and awards ceremony!

PRSA Rookie Regatta Results 2018

The Spring Series Has (Finally!) Begun!

We had a great turnout this past Sunday with 9 Lightnings on the line and 3 more represented on the RC — that is 12 boats for a Spring Series race!  We were especially thrilled to welcome Mike and Angela Darrah on #15259 to the Fleet for their first PRSA races.  Watch out folks — they are fast!  It was also good to see Karl and Kevin Wagerson out on 14566 and to have Jim Dillard join us on 15311 for some of his first PRSA Sunday Series racing in a while.  I was PRO for the day (with Bob Gotthardt and Lisa-Marie Lane rounding out the RC).  All I can say is that it was a very goofy day, with “east” winds varying wildly in velocity and direction all day long.  We saw the breeze swing from 35 degrees to 115 degrees and back in just a minute or two, and there was more than one instance of a breeze directly out of the south settling over the course for a few minutes, before reverting back to an easterly.  Given the wind direction the O2 courses were short, but they were surely challenging for the sailors given the shifty and puffy conditions.  We were able to get 5 races in (!) before sending the boats back to shore to enjoy the PRSA season-opening BBQ.  Results will be posted to the PRSA website soon!

AGM Wrap Up & 2018 Season Announcements!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2017 Sailing Season and for everyone who who made the trip to Loudoun County for the AMG. It was a fantastic turnout and a great party. It was especially exciting to see so many of the new members and family at the AGM! Our fleet has some of the best members, if you have not had the change to share a beer and get to know some of our new boat owners, you definitely add that to your list this spring!


Upcoming Events: 

  1. Fleet Tune-Up Day: Saturday March 11:00-2:00pm
    Come down to the marina on Saturday to get your boat cleaned up, tuned up & ready for racing…Several of our local experts have offered to be at the marina and help get masts stepped & be available to help with tuning questions. Special thanks to Aaron, Nabeel, Bobby who have offered to assist our fleet members. I would strongly encourage everybody to print out the North Tuning Guide or have it available on a mobile device. Both the Fisher and the M5 systems are covered in that tuning guide, and it’d be good for folks to be familiar with the basic steps so that we can provide the best advice in the time that we will have. http://www.onedesign.com/Portals/106/docs/Tuning%20Guides/north-lightning-tuningguide.pdf. Since it is still early in the season, the marina may not have the water turned on by the 31st, so make sure to bring all of the supplies you need to work on your boat.
  2. First Away Regatta: Moonshine, Smith Mountain Lake, (April 14-15)
    Randy Beauchamp, who will be hosting the Moonshine Regatta this year has coordinated with the UVA Sailing Team and has up to 10 UVA college sailors who would like to sail on Lightnings at the event. If you are are interested in having one of the college sailors on your team, please let me know! This is a great “One More Regatta” to attend. Never traveled, need crew, would like to crew…If you have any questions or reservations, please let me know, there lots of resources available to help you get to this event!
  3. Lighting Fleet 50 will host Dixie Districts / Potomac Cup (Jun 16-17, 2018)
    Due to the limited resources with planning two large regattas within 3 weeks, we are hosting a combined Dixie District/Doc Gilbert Regatta at Leesylvania State Park this year only.

AGM Meeting Highlights
Lightning Fleet 50 had a great racing season, with a total of 61 races completed as part of the scored racing season. We had great participation in 2017. Of the 21 boats on the roster, we would usually have between 5-9 boats out racing on any given Sunday (a max of 11 boats during one Sunday!). We usually have more than 10+ participating in our 2-day regattas. For our annual Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup Regatta, we welcomed boats from around the Dixie District and even had one boat from Florida (Thanks Bill!) to sail at the beautiful Leesylvania State Park. This past year, our attendance was down by 5 boats, as we only had 16 participants compared to 21 boats in 2016. This season, we continued a regular practice of gathering around the BBQ grill after the racing to trade stories about starts, mark roundings, and other tall tales from the racing.

For the 2017 Racing Season…We had 14 boats participate, [14] were active and [10] qualified for the 2017 Championship Series. We had 10 boats travel to at least 1 away regatta in 2017!

The Mantra for 2018: One More Regatta!


And the winner is…Congratulations to the 2017 Fleet 50 Championship Series

Nabeel Alsalam on Shadowfax (15142) for winning the 2017 Fleet 50 Championship Series.
John Van Voorhis on Shamrock (15117) took 2nd place, moving up 2 spots from his 2016 finishing position.
Bobby Astrove (7603) once again held 3rd place overall in 2017.
Lindsay Bach on Lightning Bug (14221) finished 4th moving up 6 spots from 2016 and
Aaron Boesenecker on Beedobeat (14592) finished in fifth place.

Complete 2017 season results: https://tinyurl.com/ydcskyqj

Other Fleet Awards:
Best New Crew: Gigi & Quinton Bishop

Most Improved Crew: [No one was nominated]

High Impact Crew: Jess Harrington

Team Spirit Skipper: Frank Gallagher

Congeniality Award: Geoff Fuller

Most Improved Skipper: Lindsay Bach

Skipper of the Year: Aaron Boesenecker

Fleet 50 Helper Award: Red Fehrle & Suz Humphrey

Bungle Bucket: Tie, Will Summers & Jeff Whiten

Bloody Rudder Award: Lisa-Marie Lane

All Weather Sailor Award: Lisa-Marie Lane

Iron Skipper Award: Bobby Astrove


Fleet 50 welcomed 5 new members (to make 21 boats listed on the roster)

We were excited to see new boats on the water in 2017, and look forward to building on this momentum in 2018. This year we welcomed 5 new boats to our fleet:

#12416 Marcols Ilosa & Joe Ament
#14318 Jeff Witten
#14187 Geof Bishop, who bought Bobby’s old boat,
who sails with his kids Quinton & Gigi
#14532 Will Summers, Thanks to Frank Galagher the Lightning whisper
who is rescued Boonoonoonos in the Fall of 2016
#14566 Kevin Wagerson, who bought Frank’s old boat and co-skippers with his son Karl

Sadly, we will be losing a boat (not members)
#14100 Red & Suz Fehrle who are selling their boat.

“Just Launched…”
Fleet 50 is continuing the Lightning tradition of family sailors. We are so happy to welcome two of our newest members:

Will & Megan Summers welcomed Charlie Summers born on November 13th, 2017.

Brian & Megan Lawrence would like to introduce Theodore “Theo” Samuel Lawrence born on December 22nd, 2017

Rocking the Boat…Fleet 50 donated $175 to the Hadley Green Rock the Boat in 2018 ($100 contribution from Fleet 50 and $75 in member contributions)

Many thanks to the Officers who served Fleet 50 in 2017:
Fleet Captain: Lisa-Marie Lane
Lieutenant for Racing: John Van Voorhis
Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
Secretary: Geof Fuller
Scorer: Will Summers
Webmaster: pending (may reorganize w/ PRSA website)
Potomac Cup Regatta Chair: Jon Van Voorhis
Special Olympics Coordinator: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing
Training & Development Coord: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing

2018 Fleet 50 Slate of Officers:
Fleet Captain: Lisa-Marie Lane
Lieutenant for Racing: Jon Van Voorhis
Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
Secretary & Scorer: Geoff Bishop
Webmaster: Jim Lane
Potomac Cup Regatta Chair: Aaron Boesenecker
Special Olympics Coordinator: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing
Training & Development Coord: Vacant / handled by Lieutenant for Racing

I am looking forward to serving as your Fleet Captain in 2018 & seeing everyone on the water for the Spring Season!

Sail Fast!

Lisa-Marie Lane
Fleet Captain, Lightning Fleet 50

Fall Series #8 and PRSA Annual General Meeting

Greetings Sailors,

Mark your calendars! 

This coming Sunday is the last day of racing for the fall series.  The forecast is for partly cloudy skies with a high of 52 and moderate winds from the south.  It it holds true, this should be a great day to end the season!  Then next Saturday is the PRSA Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet.  Visit the PRSA website for details and to sign up!

Racing Highlights…

Last weekend, team As You Wish…was in Hampton VA for the Fall Fling.  It was a great event with 2 days of racing and one of the highest turnouts in many years.  There were 7 Lightnings, and would have been 8, except 2 boats needed crew and had to combine boats.  Sat we had 5 hard races, the wind was predominately steady from the north winds from 15-20.  The steady breeze made the 5 races races very lively and tiring but never out of control or too much to handle.  Saturday night the Hampton Yacht Club members hosted an awesome Pot Luck/Oyster Roast at one of the member’s homes a few blocks away from the club.  By Sunday, the breeze was predicted to die all day following the front that came thru but it stayed in the 5-6 range and the RC was able to get in 2 additional races.  This was the prefect way to end the regatta, the temps were in the 70’s, most of us were wearing shorts and although the winds were light, no paddling was required!  Congrats again to the winners, Trevor Prior, Hans & Gary sailed well and placed 1st; Joe Bukowski, Ed Lane & Zack Bukowski came in 2nd and Team Hurban, Joan, Gary and Paulie Kaiser were a very close 3rd. (See the pics below).

Some winter thoughts…If you have not considered traveling to away regattas, please reconsider.  When Jim and I first joined Fleet 50 and were trying to “get the basics” of this incredibly humbling boat down, the number one recommendation to getting more experience by traveling to away regattas.  Although when we first considered traveling it was quite overwhelming, it has been the best thing we have done to gain experience.  If you have questions, just ask! There are many folks who will help with recommendations and procedures on traveling, stepping your mast, setting up your boat and all around cheerleads for new teams.  And most importantly, the host clubs are so excited to get more boats on the line!  You will find new friendships, lots of great sailing stories and invaluable knowledge.  Lightning sailors are a tight knit group that will go out of their way to support each other! 

Hope to see everyone Sunday!

Fall Series #4

The weather forecasts threatened rain and maybe even thunderstorms and the sky was gray.  But guess what?  No rain and the best breeze we’ve had all fall!   It was a small group of 5 Lightning and 2 Buccs at the Albacores were at West River for their Nationals and neither the I-20s or Multi-Hulls were there.   You guys missed out!

The RC gave us four W-2 courses set up on a southwesterly axis.  Jeff Neurauter, Heather Howard, Ben Arthur, and Ann Tyree ran race committee.  Tom Hutton did the scores (posted to the PRSA Website).  Thanks!

PRSA Fall Series #2: Challenging Conditions in Light Wind!

Here is the writeup from Geoff Bishop, 3rd place Lightning in Sunday’s Fall Series #3.  Geoff was sailing with his daughter, Gigi, and son Quentin.  Thank you, Geoff, for the writeup and great job to you and your crew for a 3rd on a very tough day! Please feel free to add your own comments and observations here as well.

Sit still and try to keep moving!  It was a fun day on the river but once again not much wind.  Sailing out to the course I was pleasantly surprised by a steady breeze but in the end the forecast for light and variable winds held true.  The race committee did a phenomenal job setting the marks and a square start line despite early engine problems.  Trying to recall the light air sailing lessons we learned last week, our strategy was simply to keep the boat moving.  We did our best to start the day’s only race on starboard with speed and footed nicely up the left side of the course.  When waves from boat traffic in the channel came by we footed even more in order to keep our boat moving through the chop.  Taking those waves head on in this light air would have been deadly.  Then the wind died and a breeze filled in on the right side of the course!  The boats that went right were heroes!  In retrospect the more dependable wind was probably coming down the Anacostia – on the right side of the course –  and I made a point of staying right on the next upwind leg.  The rest of the race seems a bit of a blur as we sat bobbing up and down, drifting under the blazing sun.  Somewhere along the way I recalled the saying: “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”  This thought came to mind right about the time Shadowfax came scooting by us downwind with the spinnaker pulling and passing boats right and left.  With patience and perseverance we coaxed our boat forward and on the last downwind leg found a little breath of wind coming off the airport side of the river that we used to generate some momentum around the pin and into the final stretch.  The final leg of our race reminded me of rubber duckies floating in a bathtub.  We were near a group of about four lightnings just bobbing ever closer to the finish line – and in particular the leeward pin as the current was at least as strong as any “wind.”  By sheer luck we bobbed just ahead of Frank and Marianne (we had traded places back and forth with them most of the race) for a third place finish.  Not exactly lightning speed, but we’ll take it.  Thank you to all who participated –most of the classes had a great turnout – and thank you to the race committee who graciously let us go in early to enjoy the rest of our afternoon on shore.

Spring Series #7: Absolutely Fantastic Racing on the Potomac!

We had an amazing day for Spring Series #7!  Steady breeze at 10-15 from the South, four great races, and 8 Lightnings on the line!  Read Nabeel’s great summary of the day’s racing on the PRSA website and add your own comments.  Heather on the RC also took some great photos, including the ones below!